we want to be this and that and the other thing. i think about the classic scenario is you work and save - you want this shiny new camaro, so you work and save and get all your money and, "if i had this camaro, i'd be happy!" okay. great. so you do whatever you have to do, probably suffer a lot, you get this camaro, you pull into toys 'r us, walk in, and one of those heavy duty rv things goes bam, and you get a huge dent in it, and you go out, and there's the dent. i mean, it's like - we've all been through that kind of thing, that we think we want things, we think things will make us happy, and they won't do it. so the buddhist says first off, life's suffering, the reason we suffer is because of tanha , but a way i like to read it - perhaps it's my own feel, more of a psychological pitch on it - but i kind of think of it as tanha is the ego perception of life, of you being separate and having to struggle over and against it and fighting everything for your own.